Aquaculture for all

Atlas Shows Increased Profit

AUSTRALIA - The Atlas South Sea Pearl Company has reported an after tax profit of A$8M for 2007 and has repeated its forecast of a A$5.7 million profit this year.

The increase in profit was mainly attributed to a one off adjustment relating to the fair market value of the company’s pearls and oysters resulting from a change in the adoption of AASB 141 (fair value adjustment of pearls and oysters).

The cash earnings excluding any fair market adjustments for the Agriculture assets was $3.6M compared to a profit of A$3.3M in the previous financial year.

The company said it achieved its operating targets with 400,000 oysters seeded in 2007 compared to 380,000 in 2006. Two thirds (264,000) of the oysters were seeded at the Alyui Bay site in West Papua which continues as the primary pearl production site with balance operated in Bali.

Further geographical diversification has taken place through the identification of a new juvenile nursery site in North Bali and the planning of a new hatchery at the existing site of Karang Asem in East Bali, which will be commissioned in October 2008.

The establishment of geographically diverse hatchery and farms sites has resulted in significantly higher productivity and survival rates of oysters.

The joint research programme undertaken between James Cook University (JCU) and Atlas has continued to produce good results with many of the key genetic characteristics that were being sought now identified. This research is ongoing and is being complimented by internal research projects relating to farming improvements.

The company’s retail operations have continued to grow with an increase in revenue from the two showrooms and numerous hotel presentation cabinets in various Bali tourist hot-spots. The number of retail outlets will be increased to four by the end of the year.

The company said its objectives for 2008 include:

  • Increase the size of pearls harvested and the quantity of the total pearl harvests;
  • Expand the sources of oyster supply and ensure that reserves are maintained;
  • Implement the findings from the research and development programs with JCU;
  • Expand the jewellery business and increase brand awareness;
  • Maintain a sustainable dividend stream that ensures maximum return for shareholders and also allowing the company to undertake its expansion programmes.
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